Het Zilveren Kind
The Silver Child
A community housing facility for people with severe multiple disabilities in an urban context
In the architecture for a stimulating day-to-day setting, the human being is central, not the construction. People with severe multiple disabilities are a vulnerable target group in our society. They experience a wide variety of impulses and are assisted in this by intensive care on a daily basis. Their sensitivity requires a space that can adapt to a desired environment rich or poor in stimulants. The space for people with severe multiple disabilities is stimulating if there is the opportunity to range in experience.
My uncle Freek has a severe multiple handicap. In addition to being mentally handicapped, he is also physically disabled, which makes him completely dependant on someone else. Freek is in a wheelchair and is lifted in his bed or in a beanbag. He has limited ability to understand information, does not talk full sentences, only a few words. He has a sense of humor, is sensitive to moods, and communicates through posture and gestures. Freek has lived in a variety of locations, depending on the offer within the care. These were mainly remote locations in a forested area or homes on the outskirts of the village. Freek likes to meet people every morning, spend the day together with others in a meaningful way.
Care from professionals will be reduced in the future and will be replaced by informal caregivers from the personal network and by technology. In order to stimulate self-direction and participation, the focus should not be on care but on living and the various functions in the neighbourhood. The social context of a person with a severe multiple handicap is an important safety net and lightens the intensive care provided by professionals.
Currently, people with severe multiple disabilities live mainly in a rural context. For these people, but also for the informal caregivers, such as family, friends and relatives, arrangements will have to be made to be able to live and work in close proximity to each other. Not only rural, but also within an urban context.
Graduation date: 12 juli 2021
Graduation committee: Judith Korpershoek (mentor), Anna Maria Fink, Henri Snel
Additional members for the exam: Elsbeth Falk, Lisette Plouvier